Local News

Cary Man Sentenced To 100 Years In Child Porn Case

Posted October 21, 2005

— A former software developer was sentenced Thursday to 100 years in prison for posing a 6-year-old girl and an infant boy in pornographic photos and videos.

Brian Tod Schellenberger, 43, of Cary, pleaded guilty in January to four counts of sexual exploitation of children; one count of possession of child pornography; and one count of using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle rejected Schellenberger's lawyers pleas to give him a 25-year sentence because he fully cooperated with investigators. They arrested three more suspects based on Schellenberger's information.

"I'm very sorry for everything. I have hurt everyone that I know. I wish I hadn't," Schellenberger said in court.

But that was not enough for the victims' families.

They told a judge that Schellenberger shattered their lives and created years of emotional pain.

"I think Brian Schellenberger is as close to a sociopath as you can get," Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Murphy said. "He has no feeling about what he did or what his punishment was."

Schellenberger admitted he created his own pornography using the two children and that over 15 years he collected more than 100,000 images of child pornography.

The former SAS Institute employee also was convicted of trying to hire a South Carolina man to kill his wife in exchange for a copy of his entire pornography collection, which also included adult bondage and torture scenes.

Schellenberger was arrested in December 2003 after law enforcement officers in Canada discovered an image of child pornography on the Internet and traced it to him.

FBI agents found more pornography after searching Schellenberger's five computers, as well as logs of instant-message chats.

Those led investigators to people with whom Schellenberger was allegedly trading or sharing child pornography and to the man who told them Schellenberger had solicited him to kill Schellenberger's wife.

Investigators said information found on Schellenberger's home computer led to arrests in South Carolina, Texas and London.

Prosecutors said in court documents filed last year that investigators found in Schellenberger's home a camcorder, two digital cameras, a girl's school uniform, a child's parasol, two dog kennels, a battle ax with extra blades and a black nylon suitcase filled with sex toys, whips, restraints and "instruments of torture."

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